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The National Weather Service Will STOP USING ALL CAPS IN FORECASTS

Well, most of the time.

Meteorologists working on weather forecasts in 1926. (Photo: NOAA/CC BY 2.0)

In the age of the internet, the National Weather Service’s forecasts remain written in the voice of your hard-of-hearing great uncle, shouting in all capital letters at the smallest hint of any minor weather event. 

“DRY AND POTENTIALLY QUITE NICE,” read one one Tuesday prediction for New Jersey. 

That was DRY AND POTENTIALLY QUITE NICE if you didn’t catch it the first time. (This phrase, incidentally, describes your correspondent’s personality with some accuracy, in addition to being the forecast for next Monday in the Garden State.)

Shouting is not the intended effect of all caps, of course. The letters are a legacy of the days when the weather service used teletype—a sort of precursor to fax machines—to move forecasts across the country. 

But the days of teletype have long been over, and the weather service said Monday the days of all-capital letters will soon come to an end, too. 

Mixed-case lettering for forecasts will be phased in starting May 11, with the occasional cameo from all-caps for good measure. 

The weather service said all caps will now be reserved for true emergencies. Such as, perhaps, a day when it’s expected to be DRY AND POTENTIALLY QUITE NICE.